Friday, 2 May 2014

A School Like Mine

A School Like Mine. I picked this up in the library last week, really because I had seen a Dorling Kindersley book like it recommended on the Ben and Birdy blog. I don't often go for the big hardcover encyclopedia types, for no good reason other than I just love picture books and I don't want to carry something heavy to the car if its not definitely going to be read. But anyways, this looked interesting.

So interesting in fact that when I was having my mid afternoon slump pick-me-up cuppa yesterday, I read it myself. Its fascinating. A simple, clever idea, very well done. Each double page covers the daily life of a child in a different country. What they have for breakfast, how they get to school, what they do at school, their favourite toy, their family. I love this stuff. The French girls predictably healthy lunch, the Indian boys' cool stainless steel lunch containers that screw onto each other, the Mongolian little boys' raisin drink served by his teacher.

There is the temptation of course, of playing the guilt card (and being an Irish mother, I cannot resist it) and pointing out to ones kids how easy they have it compared to some. And this is true, but really the book is about children who seem happy and cared for. And the photos are quite "real" insofar as the subjects aren't in their best clothes, the shoes look a bit scuffed and the little Belgian girl has a ladder in her tights. Its as if the Dorling Kindersley people said they'd be along to photograph the kids but didn't give an exact time, so no one was quite ready. Or maybe they said, just let them wear what they normally wear on a weekday. Whatever they did it worked. This is about €16.something on Book Depository, so its not cheap, but it really is an education. For ages five to eleven, I'd say.

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